stealth

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

Highway of death Operation Desert Storm

Dave Deptula was arguably the key player in air power during the world’s first precision guided war, Desert Storm. He offers the principal lessons learned during that war on its quarter-century anniversary. He takes those lessons and applies them to the current fight against the terrorists, murderers, thugs and rapists who comprise ISIL, which we call… Keep reading →

Sixth generationa fighter concept Northrop NGAD (1)

PALMDALE, CALIF: Northrop Grumman unveiled its vision of the so-called sixth-generation fighter, showing reporters a laser-firing aircraft that looks like a cross between the B-2 bomber and the X-47B drone. Chris Hernandez, Northrop’s vice president for research, technology and advanced design, laid out the basic parameters for the sixth-gen fighter (Northrop refers to it as NG Air… Keep reading →

Robert Work

WASHINGTON: This time last year, top Pentagon officials were very publicly touting the Pentagon’s new Third Offset Strategy. Then offset went into stealth mode as people went behind closed doors to wrestle with what it would actually be. So, I asked Deputy Secretary Bob Work yesterday, what’s up with offset? Work’s response made clear the concept… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

How did Northrop beat world’s largest defense companies, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, in the crucial competition for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB)? First, and probably most importantly, Northrop Grumman is the only company in history to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain a long-range stealth bomber—the B-2 Spirit. Thanks to pre-award briefings, we know that the… Keep reading →

Air Force photo

Tuesday’s bomber award announcement by the US Air Force marks a critical achievement for US national security. Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power—the ability to find and strike targets anywhere in the world at any time—is a core capability for our nation. When North Korean provocations occurred in 2013, an Air Force B-2 flew over the Korean peninsula to deter hostile action. When Russia recently invaded Ukraine, B-2s and B-52s deployed to England to reassure NATO allies.

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

UPDATED with details from Pentagon press conference; corrected EMD contract value PENTAGON: Affirming its status as the nation’s builder of stealthy bombers, Northrop Grumman today won what will probably be the biggest defense contract of the decade, the $80 billion, $564 million-per-plane Long-Range Strike Bomber program, which will enter service circa 2025. “The LRSB will allow the… Keep reading →

F-35A first overseas flight Italy

WASHINGTON: The first F-35A built in Italy for the Italian Air Force took off yesterday for what the Lockheed Martin test pilot said was highly successful first flight. “It was identical to every other airplane we produce at Fort Worth,” pilot Bill Gigliotti told reporters today in what he clearly intended as a compliment to… Keep reading →

F-35

PALMDALE, CALIF: Close Air Support enthusiasts and those who still hope for a gun-to-gun dogfight take heart: the F-35 test fired its gatling gun today. Remember that the Marines are writing the CAS portion of the F-35 CONOPS manual so they’ll be looking closely at the test results, especially since they are flying the first… Keep reading →

U-2 landing

PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

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